Story Behind Valentine’s Day

Written by: Shelby Harrell

We all know of the dreadful for some and exciting for the rest day that is on February 14th every year or Valentine’s Day. How many of us actually know the real meaning behind Valentine’s Day? Well, the actual story behind the love filled, candy, chocolate and people everywhere saying “I love you”.

Well, actually, the lovely Romans (and I say this with great sarcasm) used the holiday to do things other than the lovely nice ways to show affection.  In Rome during February 13 to 15, the Romans would unclothe and drink and celebrated with a feast in honor of Lupercalia (which is a wolf that rids of evil spirits) but to rid the evil spirits one had to sacrifice a goat and a dog.

Then with the hinds of the corpse of the animals one would whip a woman. The women didn’t know any better and they would willing line up and take the whipping. They actually thought it would make them fertile.

Then there was the lottery. In this lottery a man would draw a women’s name from a jar and then they were coupled up for the remainder of the festival or longer if the match is right.

It is noted that Emperor Claudius the Second executed two men named Valentine on, weirdly enough, February 14 in different years in the third century A.D. Then their martyrdom was honored by Catholic Church which is why we have the lovely holiday full of love called Valentine’s Day. Then Pope Gelasius the First in the Fifth Century combined the new holiday Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to try to expel the pagan rituals. The Christians started to be clothed when celebrating the holiday, however, it didn’t stop the day from being the day of fertility and love. This, dear friends, is how we got the lovely holiday Valentine’s Day.   

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